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What do Clip Art, Nouns and Egyptians have in common?

What do Clip Art, Nouns and Egyptians have in common?

What do Clip Art, Nouns and Egyptians have in common?  Lots and all might be able to help you with your next project or presentation. I’ll explain.


At the end of last year, Teltek shared Microsoft’s announcement that they will no longer be  supporting or adding to their image library in my post, RIP Clip Art.  Rather than continue to invest in the creation of clip art for use within their Office applications, Microsoft will be directing the image search function within its productivity apps through Bing Images and display those filtered for Creative Commons licensing.


I often am putting together documents, presentations and drawings for clients that require a consistent image style throughout the piece and many times that level of detail and categorization just isn’t found on the web.  If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff with spare time on their hands (who does?!!) this can leave you without the graphic support you might need to provide a clear, polished deliverable for your client.  I have to admit, I was more than a little disappointed in this divestment of resources. If a big name like Microsoft didn’t think it was worth funding, then who would be focused on graphic content development?

Rather than merely highlight the problem, I’d like to share a solution that I came across in a recent search.  The Noun Project offers thousands of different glyph icons from different artists available for free download (with credit) or for fee with unfettered access to distribute.  This really helped me out of a bind recently when I needed some simple monochromatic symbols to add to a process flow diagram.  I needed something simple that wouldn’t clutter my document.


Glyph? you might say.  Why does that sound so familiar?  World history buff, are you?  Think back to the ancient Egyptians and their hieroglyphics.  It’s the same root word and concept. “A glyph is intended to represent a readable character for the purposes of expressing thoughts, ideas and concepts. ”

The Noun Project is the brainchild of Edward Boatman, who thought to himself“It would be really great if I had a drawing of every single object or concept on the planet.”  The architect recruited his wife, and Sofya Polyakova and designer Scott Thomas to help.  Starting with a few hundred icons at their 2010 launch, they have since grown to a library of thousands and artists and designers worldwide are adding to it daily.


So next time you’re in a bind and need to add simple graphics to your <insert name of your work product here> run, don’t walk like an Egyptian to The Noun Project website and take a look.  they just might have exactly what you need!


Teltek is a Certified Avaya Business Partner, NEC Dealer, Zultys, and Microsoft Partner with two locations in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. We specialize in providing one call technology support for small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofits in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania.


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